Okay. How can I say this delicately? So. Um. Yeah. Well. (Takes a pause longer and emptier than that spot where nonexistent boxes of Lover Boy should be on a liquor store shelf.) Okay. Fine. I’m just gonna say it: There’s something wrong with Hannah.
She’s been acting a little off all season, and I chalked it up to her overacting for the cameras. I thought, after a few seasons on the show and her podcast, she was just a little high on her own supply and was trying to self-produce the drama in the great tradition of Bethenny Frankel and Lisa Vanderpump before her. I thought it was just her being a touch overzealous.
After watching this episode, I see that is clearly not what is going on. Her behavior seems more erratic than the needles on Jax Taylor’s lie-detector test. I don’t know if it’s medical or psychological, or if she’s just going a little batty after being trapped in a house for the better part of four months, as we all were in the summer of 2020. I have no clue; but, man, someone needs to do some shushes in her ear, pat her hair, and tell her it’s all going to be all right. I nominate Ciara.
It starts in the afternoon, when Kyle J. Cooke (the J stands for “Jurisprudence”) spelunks down to her basement to ask her to go outside for a chat. (Everyone scurries to their windows and balconies so that they can hear the fight that is sure to ensue but not seem like they’re spying.) With each passing week, I am more and more in love with the blonde god that is Kyle J. Cooke — but, my feelings aside, I feel like he approached Hannah calmly and with equanimity, in the spirit of truly trying to resolve their differences. When he asks Hannah why she doesn’t like the way he speaks to Amanda, she says, “I don’t like the way you speak to women.” Which, I will admit, is fair.
Still, Kyle keeps his voice low and calm, but what Hannah hears is condescending. She tells him that they’re no longer friends, and he says that he doesn’t have as much acrimony toward her as she believes. “You disinvited me from your wedding,” she says, getting a bit louder. Oh, girl. That is like when she accused Amanda of throwing a drink at her. Kyle didn’t mean it. That was something dumb he said in the heat of the moment. Hannah starts getting teary-eyed, maybe out of anger or frustration, but it seems like an outsize reaction to what is normally a calm discussion.
Then Hannah says that Kyle reminds her of her dad when he criticizes her, like she needs to be better in order to win his approval. I get that. I see all of that. Yes, maybe Kyle could route some of his criticisms through Amanda so as to not trigger Hannah, but this seems more like a Hannah problem than a Kyle problem. (As a cis male, I know that we could all cut back on our mansplaining by like 90 percent, whether we realize that we’re doing it or not.) Kyle responds, “I feel like the scapegoat. Like, you bring your dad up in the same sentence as me …”
This is where she snaps. “You’re not the scapegoat,” she says. “Actually, you don’t have to come at my family. Actually, never mention my family again.” Now she’s marching into the house, tears streaming down her face, rumbling about how Kyle is bad-mouthing her father, whom she was bad-mouthing just moments ago. It doesn’t make any sense. She is the one who brought up her father, and Kyle was only saying, “I don’t know what your father and I have to do with each other,” and she went ballistic.
This is not a normal reaction. This is something else entirely that Hannah needs to work through with a Zoom therapist. Maybe she could borrow Lindsay’s? Right now, Hannah is being comforted by Ciara and Paige, who are confused just how Hannah’s dad came up in conversation.
Now everyone is triggered. Hannah is downstairs crying, Kyle is upstairs crying to Amanda because he tried to make it work with Hannah for Amanda’s sake but couldn’t. Luke, triggered by the fighting because of his parents’ rocky relationship, is strumming alone on the front stoop, something that should be illegal in most states. He keeps crooning about a “sexy little smile,” like he’s still trying to work out the words to the rest of the song. What will it be?
Shortly after, Hannah joins everyone around the table for dinner and even calls Carl, still self-isolating in his room, on FaceTime so that he can hear the convo. I think she’s going to lay into Kyle again because we haven’t seen her mind change at all — we haven’t seen her do any thinking. Instead, she starts apologizing and immediately crying, telling everyone she feels bad for putting them in awkward situations because she keeps blowing up. Then she goes so far as to tell Kyle that he is “the man,” which everyone in the world seems to dispute (except me), and embraces him and holds his face tearily in her hands like this is the end of The Notebook.
I’m glad the house is at peace, but that is one dramatic swing without much explanation. She follows all of this up with a call to her new boyfriend, Des (and just like the fans, the housemates seem to be questioning the timing of this relationship and the intensity of her feelings for Luke). What’s shocking is that Des looks like Kyle from the future who has returned to prevent the death of John Connor. What’s also shocking is that Hannah is totally letting her fingers do the walking while she hides under Paige’s yellow bedspread having a dirty FaceTime with her “fellow comic.” She is really on an emotional journey on this one day in June, let me tell you.
But it doesn’t calm down when she goes to bed and wakes up the next day. No. She wakes up to a text from a psychic whom she and Paige talk to on Instagram. The psychic says that Lindsay and Luke have hooked up in the past and that they’re going to be hooking up again.
We should preface this by saying that Lindsay officially broke up with Steven/Stravy the day before. Their love, it burned bright, but it burned …short. (Sorry, Sorry. This is the last one. I pinkie-promise.) He’s continued to try to win her over with flowers and declarations of love, but after one convo with her therapist, Lindsay knows what she needs to do. She waits until everyone goes to the beach together in their light knits and woven fedoras. As the sun is setting over the ocean and the bonfire is casting bright light against her face, she calls Steven to break up with him over the phone as the gloaming roars in the background like an Instagram filter. For a moment, this is not Summer House. It is an episode of One Tree Hill.
Almost immediately, Lindsay goes and sits next to Luke, and they start flirting and cuddling, and their friction is so hot it literally sets Lindsay’s blanket on fire. Hannah notices that Luke, who was coldly rejected by Ciara earlier in the episode, is lapping up this female attention because he doesn’t know how to survive without it. The edit is showing us more and more of Luke and Lindsay, them sitting together in his room, them chilling on the front porch together, leading us to think something is going on. Still, at this point, Luke is still strumming alone in his room. He starts crooning, “Your sexy little smile.” Yup, he’s still working on that song. “Little girl, it’s driving me wild.” Nope! That’s not it. I quit. I quit this body, I quit this house, I quit the planet Earth, I quit all of my reincarnated selves and future lives. Not a fuckboi slant-rhyming “smile” with “wild.” Not in this economy.
Then Hannah gets that text, which is where the “Luke slept with Lindsay” from the trailer came from, and if we are being fooled into thinking the two of them did it by a text from an Instagram psychic, I’m gonna be pissed. I don’t care if it is Miss Cleo herself — “Luke slept with Lindsay” from a psychic is not reality. I mean, I want to believe that all of this is true, but Paige and Hannah immediately take it as canon. They have shipped this so hard they have The Secret-ed it into reality, one extra-large condom at a time.
They continue to believe it is true, teasing out that it means that Lindsay cheated on Steven with Luke and that is why they’re acting weird together and that is why Lindsay was so mean to Hannah all winter, because she was secretly fingerblasting with Luke the whole time. When Hannah is sharing this news with Amanda, she says to her, “This woman has no reason to lie.” Um, this woman, need I remind you, is an Instagram psychic. She has no reason to lie, but she also has no reason to know because, once again, she is an Instagram psychic. Her crystal ball is a phone. Her tarot cards are stories. Her astrological signs are filters. Her tea leaves are the little cookies that Facebook uses to track us all around the internet, each little action, each ad we look at, each website we visit, each WhatsApp we send, each movement we make, digitally tagged and amplified, summed up by an algorithmic brain that knows exactly what we’re going to do before we even do it.
Holy shit, guys. Lindsay totally fucked Luke.